(Some of) Today’s NBA Best Stories

Today’s BI is abbreviated because it is a travel day for us.  We will play catch-up through the weekend.

Dave Joerger has Memphis off to franchise-best start with improved offense (from Teresa Walker, AP):

Read it here:  http://www.startribune.com/sports/wolves/286242381.html

Why This Time Could Be Different for Memphis Grizzlies (from Jim Cavan, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2303571-why-this-time-could-be-different-for-memphis-grizzlies

Brendan Haywood Q & A (from Warren Shaw, dimemag.com):

Read it here: http://dimemag.com/2014/12/dime-qa-brendan-haywood-new-role-cavs-unique-contract/

 Additional Player Updates:

Nicolas Batum http://basketball.realgm.com/article/235907/How-Nicolas-Batum-Continues-Evolution-Of-His-Game-Mindset

Joe Alexander http://upsidemotor.com/2014/12/18/milwaukee-bucks-santa-cruz-warriors-d-league-joe-alexander-injuries-bust/

Jeff Withey http://www.thebirdwrites.com/2014/12/18/7413261/freewithey

Andre Drummondhttp://www.detroitbadboys.com/2014/12/18/7415487/is-the-andre-drummond-we-all-fell-in-love-with-finally-back

Dwyane Wadehttp://www.hothothoops.com/2014/12/18/7415125/dwyane-wade-answering-critics-with-strong-play-miami-heat-2014

Jonas Jerebko: http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2014/12/detroit_pistons_jonas_jerebko_8.html

Today’s Top NBA Stories

Q&A: Jerry West on how the Warriors Got Here and Where They Are Going:  (from Adam Lauridsen, San Jose Mercury News):

Read it here:  http://blogs.mercurynews.com/warriors/2014/12/03/jerry-west-on-the-giant-steps-that-brought-the-warriors-here-and-where-theyre-going-next/

How the Clippers’ Chris Paul-Blake Griffin Pick-and-Roll Has Dominated the NBA (from Jared Zwerling, Bleacher report):

Read and view it here: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2240055-how-the-clippers-chris-paul-blake-griffin-pick-and-roll-has-dominated-the-nba

Detroit Pistons are ‘messed up’ and troubled by ‘dilemmas,’ SVG says, after loss to Lakers  (from David Mayo, mlive.com):

Read it here: http://www.mlive.com/pistons/index.ssf/2014/12/detroit_pistons_are_messed_up.html

Brad Stevens Calls on Celtics To Become More Physical  (from Marc D’Amico, nba.com/celtics):

Read it here: http://www.nba.com/celtics/news/sidebar/post-120214-stevens-calls-celtics-become-more-physical

How Donatas Motiejunas Became An Offensive Weapon (from Adam Spolane, CBSHouston):

Read and view it here: http://houston.cbslocal.com/2014/12/02/how-donatas-montiejunas-became-an-offensive-weapon/

Is Donatas Motiejunas ready to take the next step? (from Matt Rothstein, thedreamshake.com):

Read and view it here:  http://www.thedreamshake.com/2014/12/2/7307529/donatas-motiejunas-houston-rockets

Can The Washington Wizards Maintain Their Stingy Defense? (from Michael Pina, Bball breakdown):

Read and view it here:  http://bballbreakdown.com/2014/12/02/can-the-washington-wizards-maintain-their-stingy-defense/

Jeff Teague’s Offensive Emergence (from Ben Dowsett, BBall Breakdown):

Read and view it here: http://bballbreakdown.com/2014/12/02/keeping-the-drive-alive-jeff-teagues-offensive-emergence

Spurs Veterans Set Up Young Teammates to Succeed (from Jessica Camerato, Basketball Insiders):

Read it here: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/spurs-veterans-help-win-by-helping-younger-teammates/

More Player Updates:

Aaron Brooks: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2014/12/02/4004938/bulls-aaron-brooks-having-a-ball.html

Mike Miller: http://www.cleveland.com/cavs/index.ssf/2014/12/mike_miller_plays_well_in_win.html

Today’s Top NBA Stories

– Rest remains a challenge for NBA coaches, players (from Associated Press):

” It can be a guessing game who Popovich plays; he has set the bar when it comes to resting his veterans.

Many other coaches would like to follow his lead, but even for Popovich trying to manage players’ minutes and keep them fresh through the grind of the NBA’s 82-game regular season is a tricky task.

“It’s called the seat-of-my-pants science,” Popovich quipped.”

Read it here:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/rest-remains-a-challenge-for-nba-coaches-players/2014/11/17/7cbd2fda-6e35-11e4-a2c2-478179fd0489_story.html

– The Mutually Beneficial Pairing of Rudy Gay and the Kings (from Zach Lowe, Grantland.com):

Read it here: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/the-mutually-beneficial-pairing-of-rudy-gay-and-the-kings/

– Why Rudy Gay and the Kings are perfect for each other (from Tom Ziller, SBNation):

” The deal to keep Gay in Sacramento will allow the scorer to reach free agency at a better moment and ends some uncertainty for the Kings.”

Read it here:  http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2014/11/17/7233377/rudy-gay-kings-contract-explainer-free-agency

And from James Ham at Cowbell Kingdom: http://cowbellkingdom.com/why-rudy-gay-and-the-sacramento-kings-make-sense/

– Reggie Jackson’s final shot against Rockets: designed hero-ball or rogue heat check? (from Kevin Yeung, welcometoloudcity.com):

” After forcing a stop on a James Harden isolation late in the game last night, the Oklahoma City Thunder were only down three with 16.4 seconds left. They had a very real chance to tie the score and force an overtime against the (previously) 8-1 Houston Rockets.

But the resulting play out of the timeout was a complete dud. In the official play-by-play, it shows up as “Reggie Jackson misses 28-foot three-pointer,” coming only six seconds after the timeout. In reality, the distance was the least of Jackson’s problems. The shot he took was a simple pull-up jumper, thrown up with Dwight Howard closely contesting.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.welcometoloudcity.com/2014/11/17/7233319/reggie-jackson-thunder-houston-rockets-clutch

– Secrets to the Memphis Grizzlies’ Hot Start (from Tom Firme, Bleacher Report):

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2269442-have-the-memphis-grizzlies-become-elite-in-the-western-conference

– Mike Conley Q &A (from Chris Mannix, Sports Illustrated):

Read it here: http://www.si.com/nba/2014/11/14/anthony-davis-pelicans-rajon-rondo-trade-mike-conley-grizzlies

– Cavaliers’ Title Hopes Depend on Defensive Effort That Has Been Clearly Lacking (from Ethan Skolnick, Bleacher Report):

” How do you create a decent defensive team when your roster is short on guys known for their defensive disposition?

“Well, you got to teach,” Cavaliers coach David Blatt said. “You have to raise the level of expectation, and the level of accountability, and you have to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. Sometimes if you’re not blessed with great individual defenders, your principles have to be that much stronger, and your helps and your court recognition have to be that much better. And that’s why it’s taken us longer in that area of the game than on the offensive end…. Defense, like offense, in a team sport, in the dynamic of a basketball game, is very much made up of team concept, team principles and the willingness of everyone to buy into that and to be accountable for that. And that’s what we’re working on.”

Read it here:  http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2270005-cavaliers-title-hopes-depend-on-defensive-effort-that-has-been-clearly-lacking

– Lakers threaten to go from bad to toxic (from Baxter Holmes, ESPNLosAngeles):

” They were never supposed to have much of a season — just one, long, loss-filled trudge to the lottery. But just 10 games in, it’s starting to turn toxic.

They were never expected to have much of a team — just an aging superstar and a patchwork crew. But just a few weeks in, it’s starting to unravel at the seams.

The Los Angeles Lakers‘ defense is on pace to be one of the worst in history. Kobe Bryant is on pace to miss shots at a faster rate than anyone in history. And the team is on track to have its worst season in franchise history. ”

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles-lakers/post/_/id/40410/lakers-threaten-to-go-from-bad-to-toxic

– Stevens implores C’s to ‘do your job’ (from Chris Forsberg, ESPN):

“One of the things I really tried to emphasize today was, regardless of circumstance, we all have a job to do,” Stevens said. “And the hardest thing is to focus on that job without emotion. Things are going really well, you’ve got to focus on the task without emotion. If things are going really poorly and it feels like the weight of the world is falling on your shoulders, focus on what your job is and do it well. That’s easier said than done, but that’s our emphasis as we move forward. It should be something that we’re doing anyway.”

Read it here:  http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/celtics/post/_/id/4715745/stevens-implores-cs-to-do-your-job

– CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard Share Defensive Journey (from Willy Raedy, blazersedge.com):

” After very different NBA beginnings, CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard went into this summer with the same focus – improving their pick and roll defense.”

Read and view it here:  http://www.blazersedge.com/2014/11/17/7224479/portland-trail-blazers-pick-roll-cj-mccollum-damian-lillard-defense

– David Aldridge of NBA.com on Steve Kerr and the Warriors, Superstars Resting and a Joe Johnson Q & A:  http://www.nba.com/2014/news/features/david_aldridge/11/17/morning-tip-steve-kerr-adjusting-to-coaching-golden-state-warriors-role-of-injuries-for-derrick-rose-and-superstars-q-and-a-with-joe-johnson/index.html

– Bob Delaney applies stress strategies learned in military (from Steve Aschburner, NBA.com):

” Staying strong emotionally plays a key role for NBA referees”

Read it here: http://www.nba.com/2014/news/features/steve_aschburner/11/11/delaney-applies-stress-strategies-from-military/index.html

More player updates:

– Shawn Marion:  http://www.news-herald.com/sports/20141116/cleveland-cavaliers-shawn-marion-leads-by-example-on-defense

– Will Cherry: http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20141116/Sports/141119428#ixzz3JKcSXn8w

– Jared Sullinger:  http://www.csnne.com/boston-celtics/sullinger-looking-put-ball-floor-more

– Robert Covington: http://www.nba.com/sixers/news/141117-covington-story

– Jabari Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo:  http://www.brewhoop.com/2014/11/17/7232233/progress-jabari-parker-giannis-antetokounmpo

– Joe Harris:  http://www.streakingthelawn.com/virginia-cavaliers-basketball/2014/11/17/7229509/joe-harris-impressive-start-highlights-stats-cavaliers-uva-video

– Shawne Williams: http://www.hothothoops.com/2014/11/17/7233511/shawne-williams-miami-heat-hot-shooting-starting-reborn-nba-shot-chart-stats-three-pointers

– Nate Wolters: http://www.nba.com/bucks/features/mb-steady-rollin-wolters-answers-opportunitys-knock

– Aaron Gordon: http://www.orlandopinstripedpost.com/videos/2014/11/17/7232235/aaron-gordon-injury-broken-foot-defense-analysis-orlando-magic-2015

– Matt Barnes: http://espn.go.com/blog/los-angeles/clippers/post/_/id/6909/matt-barnes-finds-way-to-make-adjustments

– Tony Wroten: http://bballbreakdown.com/2014/11/15/is-tony-wrotens-hot-start-sustainable-or-an-early-season-fluke/